Artwork by Daniel Segrove via berlin-artparasite
“It’s not you. It’s me.”
Cliché, stupid, and heartbreaking – these words have scarred my life and has left me broken ever since the early morning of December 1, 2014. I can’t believe how I loved him for so long, but in a bat of his long lashes, everything was turned to trash.
Curse Love, I thought. You’re never going anywhere near me again.
“There are more fish in the sea,” they would say. Well, I felt like a freaking fish in a bucket.
It was hard and excruciating. Moving on was so much harder that staying in. Problem is, there’s no place for me to stay anymore.
But one day I woke up, and suddenly he’s not there, and saying “I moved on” finally sounded right. Nonetheless, fear of attachment became so real to me that I struggled to grab hold of relationships ever since.
Maybe I’ll find new love, I thought. But what if.. And there the fear grew into thorned vines that snaked towards my throat until my eyes bled of tears. It was really difficult, but the journey of moving on actually taught me rare life lessons.
What if that person stops loving me?
We’ve had enough of the feel-good starters of relationships where there’s so much to talk about, so much excitement about knowing each other. We know someone will get tired soon. Someone will get bored and say “It’s not you. It’s me”. Again.
But a part of me also says that relationships are not meant to be predictable. There’s always the possibility of falling out love. Scientific researches even say that the hormones that keep couples in love lasts for only six months. After that, it is up to the couple to keep the relationship going. Maybe you can make each other stay. Maybe you can try new things together and enjoy life your way.
Maybe, just maybe, you can make each other grow in instead of grow apart.
What if something goes wrong and there’s nothing we can do to fix it?
We know something terrible is always, always, bound to happen when people are too happy. We can’t afford to feel secure and comfortable with a guy and then all of a sudden, everything will just be taken away without our consent. It’s unfair.
However, maybe it is possible for you to hold hands until the storm is over. Maybe if your grip is strong enough, you can survive the turbulence and after the twists and backflips, your knots are tied tighter.
What if I am not good enough?
Speculating about the possible reasons why the previous one failed to work, we usually come up with unhealthy conclusions about our womanhood (or manhood if you’re a male): 1) I need more sex appeal, 2) I’m too polite, 3) I should have been more aggressive, 4) I am boring, and 5) I AM UGLY.
So why would anyone stick to me anyway, we tend to think. They might as well use us up and then throw us down just for the heck of it.
But you know what, this is what I learned: We are so much better than what they made us believe ourselves to be. We are strong because we forgive people quickly. We are smart because we know the difference between right and wrong. We may be too polite sometimes but it’s because we know how important respect is. We may not be the sexiest woman (or man) on earth but the kindness of our hearts is enough to last us a lifetime.
No one has the right to tell us otherwise.
What if he won’t accept me after all?
“I pick my nose with my pinky (sometimes with my point finger). I don’t wash my hair for days. I don’t comb my hair as often as I should. I still wear my old pajamas to sleep. I forget to brush my teeth sometimes. I’m not the perfect woman he expects me to be.”
That’s who we are. If they really do love us, then they should accept our entirety. We have flaws and imperfections that differentiates us from other people. They are what makes us us. They give us our identity.
It’s just like what they say: If they can’t take us at our worst, then they don’t deserve us at our best.
What if he leaves me terribly broken again like the last time?
Honestly, this is the hardest What If to give a counterattack to. I can’t vouch for your safety. Neither can I take responsibility for any heart falling apart. There is so much thing that could happen. Taking risks is not really my thing. But one lesson that I have learned in moving on is weighing the consequences of each of your possible choices first before finally deciding.
You know your situation better than anyone. If he’s a playboy, then he’ll definitely hurt you. If he’s faithful to his parents, then there’s a great probability that he will also be faithful to you. I leave the weighing to you.
Time and time again when Love knocks on my door, I still hide behind the kitchen counter – afraid and paranoid of the things that might possibly hurt me again if I ever let Love invade my comfort zone.
But I know better now. I know that it is only when I stopped asking myself “what if” that reality will finally unfold and show me “what is” and possibly, “what will be”.
And you know it’s true.